When you’re in a shared office or an open concept environment you often hear a flurry of clicking sounds followed by tapping sounds coming from all around you. Perhaps you make them as well. You wonder what is that sound, where is it coming from and why is it so consistent. Quickly you realise the sounds are coming from your co-worker’s (or your) keyboard. The flurry of clicking sounds come from the fast typing, and the tapping sounds are the result of pressing the backspace key repeatedly to correct mistakes. Makes you wonder “if only they typed a little slower, they would end up typing faster.”
This principle applies across all spectrums of the business world particularly when it comes to projects.
When focus is on speed, all else gets neglected. Requirements get stripped to basic functionality, design teams don’t iterate and refine the UX and UI, development teams take short cuts. Product gets to the market faster however inevitably it falls short of goals and expectations. Leading to rework, workarounds or even entire redesigns. Taking the time to follow due process is important. It may take longer to get to a finished product however the finished product will be well thought out, designed appropriately and developed for scalability. The upfront time and effort will allow businesses to capture immeasurable rewards in the future.
This is nothing new, everyone knows this. So why do people still fall into this trap?
Focus is often placed on time to market and expense management both of which result in compressed timelines and poorly funded projects. Underfunded projects that are rushed to market result in poor outcomes and costly remediation. Projects in these scenarios usually miss the unrealistic, but committed to, timeline and budget, have missing functionality and have to be supported by manual workarounds.
Businesses tend to want to plan for the end result and not necessarily the path to get to the end result. This leads to scope definition that is essentially a straight line from A to B. There is little to no room for a detailed plan that would capture the true needs. When even the straight line is too long, scope tends to be sacrificed further along with development standards, proper QA and documentation. One or more of “We will make up the difference in volume” or “we can do without the nice to have features” or “A temporary manual process will fill the gap” or “we will defer to phase 2” are adopted as justification. Ultimately, to quote a line from “How I met your mother” tv series, “These are problems for future people in charge of the project”. When the “future people” try and fix the gaps left in the system often the remediation is more expensive and time consuming than the actual build.
With speed to market and straight-line scope as the foundation, delivery schedules are often developed to with same enthusiasm. IT or the project teams cannot be seen as the road blocks so they become complicit. From a development and delivery perspective, the easiest item to cut is testing, with the belief that “it should be good”. Another key challenge facing execution is constant scope creep. As the business starts seeing the project come together, they start see some of the gaps they left in the planning stages. Some are blatant oversights or mistakes and need to be corrected before launch. All of this results in project taking longer to deliver than planned and usually ends up costing more.
How can you avoid these pitfalls?
Proper planning is critical to successful delivery of any project. Businesses must keep the ultimate objective in mind, getting to profit. It is obvious that you cannot make money without getting to market first, however, ensuring your offering meets yours and your clients’ needs is the first step to profitable success.
How/where can I get more information?
To learn more, feel free to reach out to us. Click here to book a meeting with one of our partners at Imagis. Or for general information, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagis Inc is a Mississauga, ON based independent business advisory firm focused on helping private and public sector organizations transform their business by leveraging leading-edge technologies like Robotic Process Automation, Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, internet of things and custom software. Our leadership team are experienced practitioners in their fields, recognized for their depth of knowledge and a track record of making a significant impact on businesses. To learn more, contact us at email@example.com.